An overhaul to the design of the High Speed 2 Birmingham Interchange station has been given the green light after a £10M funding package to build extra elements including a plaza and public transport interchange was given approval.
The £10M worth of additional funding was secured through a Devolution Deal from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
The Urban Growth Company (UGC), which secured the additional funding with Solihull Council, said the changes were needed to capitalise on and maximise the potential of HS2 and integrate it into the surrounding new “hub”.
The money will be spent on designing and building a plaza and public transport interchange, surface car parking replaced with multi-storey car parks to free up land for development and improved pedestrian links. Funding to incorporate additional capacity for future utilities requirements has also been secured.
The UGC had been calling for the station to be redesigned from a parkway station to allow it to integrate into the new area more efficiently.
The changes also support reduced journey times on the automated people mover connecting passengers between Birmingham Airport, the NEC and Birmingham International Station.
The funding will also allow local transport services to be integrated into the station and the opportunity to open up the wider adjacent Arden Cross site for development.
UGC chairman Nick Brown said securing the funding and finalizing the agreement with HS2 Ltd to make the changes was of huge importance.
“We’ve always said The Hub area has the potential to drive nationally-significant economic growth – but only if the vision for Interchange Station site was sufficiently ambitious,” said Brown.
“That’s why we’ll continue to work hard with the WMCA and HS2 Ltd - to make sure these new plans for the Interchange Station site match that ambition and are future-proof.”
It was revealed at New Civil Engineer’s Airports conference in May last year that Birmingham Airport was looking into plans to build a terminal next to the HS2 station.
According to the area’s Hub Growth & Infrastructure Plan published in January, the airport is now working with HS2 to future proof the construction of the station to ensure a new airport terminal could be built with minimal operational and construction difficulties in a later phase.
“This would involve ensuring that any bridging works across the HS2 line required to construct the combined terminal are provided in advance. The HS2 terminal itself is easily capable of extension, the road network will facilitate a combined terminal and plinths are provided across the track to facilitate the combined terminal,” the report said.
Plans to upgrade the M42 at J6 are also included in the government’s Road Investment Strategy (RIS) which will be delivered by 2023 as part of the Highways England Programme.
The station will now act as an interchange between Network Rail, Birmingham Airport, HS2, Midland Metro, Sprint - a bus-based rapid transit mode - and local buses.